Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Candace A. Vogler  

Pen Name: None

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Illinois Connection

Candace A. Vogler is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Professor Vogler received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Her specific fields of interest are ethics, feminism, action theory, and social and political philosophy, as well as sexuality and gender studies. She has special interest in English literature and literary theory, and did doctoral work in cultural studies with emphasis in 20th century French thought. Indeed, in 2000, she became one of two philosophers invited to speak at the English Institute in the seven decades of its history, the other being Stanley Cavell. She works on Karl Marx, Thomas Aquinas, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Elizabeth Anscombe. She has emphasized the importance of a liberal arts education at the undergraduate level in various lectures, believing it extremely important that students learn critical thinking skills in college. From 2004 to 2007 Vogler was Co-Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Reasonably Vicious
ISBN: 0674030729

Harvard University Press. 2009

Is unethical conduct necessarily irrational? Answering this question requires giving an account of practical reason, of practical good, and of the source or point of wrongdoing. By the time most contemporary philosophers have done the first two, they have lost sight of the third, chalking up bad action to rashness, weakness of will, or ignorance. In this book, Candace Vogler does all three, taking as her guides scholars who contemplated why some people perform evil deeds. In doing so, she sets out to at once engage and redirect contemporary debates about ethics, practical reason, and normativity.

Staged as a limited defense of a standard view of practical reason (an ancestor of contemporary instrumentalist views), Vogler's essay develops Aquinas's remark about three ways an action might be desirable into an exhaustive system for categorizing reasons for acting. Drawing on Elizabeth Anscombe's pioneering work on intention, Vogler argues that one sort (means/end or calculative reasons for acting) sets the terms for all sound work on practical rationality.

She takes up Aquinas's work on evil throughout, arguing that he provides us with a systematic theory of immorality that takes seriously the goods at issue in wrongdoing and the reasons for unethical conduct. Vogler argues that, shorn of its theological context, this theory leaves us with no systematic, uncontroversial way of arguing that wrongdoing is necessarily contrary to reason.

John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An Essay in Moral Psychology (Studies in Ethics)
ISBN: 0815336586

Routledge. 2000

This book charts the fate of philosophical theory. Drawing on the anti-instrumentalist strands of Millian thought, Vogler constructs a powerful objection to instrumentalism about practical rationality.